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Description for Tree of Puducherry, Bilva
Bael is an indigenous fruit tree of India. Bael grows in wild and semi-wild in the North India states of Uttar Pradesh, Orissa, Bihar, West Bengal and Madhya Pradesh. There are no systematic or regular plantation of bael except in Uttar Pradesh .
Planting and care
Bael plants should be planted at a distance of 8m x 8m (Budded plants) or 10m x 10m (seedlings). Pits of 90cm x 90cm x 90cm size are dug and filled with a mixture of top soil + 25 kg farmyard manure and 50 g gamma BHC up to a level of 6 cm from the ground level. Irrigate the pits to let the soil settle down. February-March or July-August is the right time for planting.
Caring for Tree of Puducherry
- Young plants are trained with the help of stakes so that they can grow straight.
Bael plants are most susceptible to water logging, care should be taken to avoid such a condition. Suckers appearing from rootstock should be removed periodically.
Typical uses of Tree of Puducherry
Culinary use: Bael fruits may be cut in half, or the soft types broken open, and the pulp, dressed with palm sugar, eaten for breakfast, as is a common practice in Indonesia. The pulp is often processed as nectar or "squash" (diluted nectar). A popular drink (called "sherbet" in India) is made by beating the seeded pulp together with milk and sugar. A beverage is also made by combining bael fruit pulp with that of tamarind. These drinks are consumed perhaps less as food or refreshment than for their medicinal effects.
Medicinal use: Bel benefits in healing digestive disorders, ulcers, headache, hypertension, diabetes, and numerous other ailments. The ripe fruit works as a laxative but is not digested easily. Unripe bel fruit, on the other hand, promotes digestion and cures diarrhea. Apart from the fruit, the root, bark, leaves as well as flowers of bel tree have medicinal value.
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